Presentation on theme: "David Schultz, Hamline University"— Presentation transcript:
David Schultz, Hamline University email@example.com
QuestionsState Capitol What is Minnesota’s history with amendments? What has happened in other states? Why amend the constitution and not use ordinary legislation?
EraDateProposedAdoptedPercentage 19 th century1858-98664873% Progressive Era 1900-1918471123% 1920s1920-2815747% Depression WWII 1930-4420840% Post WWII1948-1972382668% Contempor- ary 1974-2010272074% Total21312056%
TypeProposedAdoptedPercentage Structure of government 995253% Finance (tax/bonding) 825061% Individual rights171271% Regulatory15640% Total21312056%
Among the 12 adopted Amendments addressing individual rights, four of them restricted rights
Three dealt with jury trials ◦ 1890 allowed for verdicts by juries in civil trials ◦ 1904 abolish the requirement of a grand jury ◦ 1988 allow use of fewer than 12 in civil and non- felony cases One dealt with voting rights ◦ 1896 prohibited aliens from voting
Among the 12 adopted amendments addressing individual rights, five enlarged voting rights.
1868 allowed Blacks to vote 1875 allowed women to vote in school affairs 1898 allowed women to vote and serve on library boards 1960 expand voting rights of Indians 1970 reduce voting age to 18
There are many years where multiple amendments appear on the ballot. Most amendments in any year: ◦ 1914, 13 amendments proposed, two adopted. Second most amendments in any year: ◦ 1916, 8 amendments proposed, 2 passed
Constitutional amendments generally not used to restrict rights Constitutional amendments generally have expanded voting rights Constitutional amendments generally have expanded government capacity to tax and spend (exception is with railroads and aid to religious schools) Constitutional amendments never used to address social issues (except one addressing rules of probate). No amendments ever proposed to voters to address alcohol, abortion, marriage.
31 other states have passed laws or used ballot initiatives to ban same-sex marriage 6 states currently allow same-sex marriage 3 states besides MN this year have gay marriage on the ballot ◦ Maine, Maryland, and Washington
Donald P. Haider-Markel & Kenneth J. Meier, Legislative Victory, Electoral Uncertainty: Explaining Outcomes in the Battles Over Lesbian and Gay Rights ◦ 77% of those seeking to repeal the rights of lesbians and gays were successful in doing so, and in the 13 attempts to extend rights of gays and lesbians, 84% were unsuccessful.
Same-Sex marriage already illegal in Minnesota ◦ Baker v. Nelson, 291 Minn. 310, 191 N.W.2d 185 (1971) ◦ Minnesota Statutes, chapters 517.01 and 517.03
More than 30 states have enacted voter ID laws across the United States
ProCon Allegations of voter fraud or impersonation at the polls Needed to assure voter confidence Evidence of fraud is negligible Highest voter turnout in the nation Potential disenfranchisement Costs to state, local governments, and voters –”The Costs of the Proposed Elections Amendment” MN Citizens for Election Integrity
Supreme Court upheld voter ID in Indiana in Crawford v. Marion County Courts have suspended or invalidated voter ID in Texas, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Wisconsin, and Missouri
What will the Elections Amendment actually require? ◦ The need for enabling legislation
Minority rights fare badly in ballot initiatives ◦ Barbara S. Gamble, Putting Civil Rights to a Popular Vote, 41 American Journal of Political Science 245 (1997) Measures aimed at limiting the civil rights of minority groups were much more successful than other types of initiatives and referendums. Between 1898 and 1978 found that only 33% of substantive measures succeeded. These relatively low passage rates change dramatically when the limitation of civil rights is the subject of the proposal. Gamble found that 78% of the 74 civil rights measures that she studied resulted in a defeat of minority interests.
◦ Why amend the Constitution? ◦ What is the purpose of a constitution? ◦ Repercussion in amending the Constitution?